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Sullivan fingers Ebbers in WorldCom fraud whodunnit

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Scott Sullivan fingered Bernie Ebbers in a New York courtroom yesterday linking the former boss of WorldCom to the $11bn (£5.8bn) fraud that brough the giant telco to its knees.

The prosecution's star witness and former WorldCom CFO - who has already pleaded guilty for his part in the WorldCom fraud - testified that Ebbers was one of those who helped carry out the fraud.

"I falsified financial statements of the company, made adjustments to revenue for the purpose of meeting analyst expectations," Sullivan told the court, the Washington Post reports.

Asked who else took part he replied: "Bernie [Ebbers], David Myers, Buddy Yates, Betty Vinson, Troy Normand."

This is the first time that Ebbers, who denies the charges, has been linked directly with the fraud.

And far from the defence's assertions that Ebbers left accounting matters to Sullivan because he didn't have the necessary financial know-how, Sullivan described Ebbers' grasp of complex financial matters as being even better that some CFOs.

"He's not an accountant, but he has a good grasp of accounting concepts," said Sullivan, who also portrayed Ebbers as micromanager obsessed with cost-cutting.

In his eagerness to cut cost, Ebbers even began to monitor the amount of coffee being drunk and suspected that some employees were taking it home, reports USA Today.

Sullivan, who is expected to testify again today, also revealed that he used cocaine and marijuana while working at WorldCom and was also convicted of drink-driving in 1984. ®

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WorldCom directors $54m lawsuit deal unravels
Ebbers fortune at risk as share prices slid
Former Worldcom directors cough up $18m
Ebbers never made 'an accounting decision' - witness
Ebbers feared fortune would be 'wiped out'
Ebbers knew of financial fiddling
Ebbers' financial know-how probed
Gloves off in Ebbers WorldCom fraud trial
Ebbers fraud trial kicks off
Ebbers faces WorldCom court showdown
Former Worldcom directors cough up $18m
MCI breaks free from Chapter 11
WorldCom gets sums wrong by $74bn
Bernie Ebbers faces criminal charges

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